SSRI-Induced Akathisia’s Link To Suicide and Violence

Evelyn Pringle August 18, 2007

Medical experts have long known that the side effect associated with the class of antidepressants known as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors most likely to drive people to suicide or violence against others is “akathisia”.

Akathisia is but one in a long list of side effects that SSRI makers were able to keep hidden, as they settled thousands of lawsuits out of court, by obtaining court orders to seal documents produced in litigation. For instance, a 1984 Eli Lilly document showed akathisia occurred in at least 1% of patients long before Prozac was approved.

In a paper entitled, “Suicides and Homicides in Patients Taking Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft: Why They Keep Happening – And Why They Will Continue,” Dr Jay Cohen points out that, as soon SSRI’s arrived on the market in the late 1980s, reports of sudden, unexpected suicides and homicides by patients taking the drugs began to come in.

The DSM-IV acknowledges the association of akathisia with suicidality and states: “Akathisia may be associated with dysphoria, irritability, aggression, or suicide attempts.”

According to Dr Cohen, SSRI’s can create a combination of side effects that reduce impulse control and cause severe agitation or restlessness that may become intolerable. He says, impulsive behavior coupled with impaired cognitive functioning can be dangerous.

A 1998 article on akathisia associated with Prozac and its link to suicidal ideation in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, by Roger Lane, who was working for Pfizer at the time, states in part:

“It may be less of a question of patients experiencing fluoxetine-induced suicidal ideation than patients feeling that ‘death is a welcome result’ when the acutely discomforting symptoms of akathisia are experienced on top of already distressing disorders.

“Hamilton and Opler (1992) stated that the term ‘suicidal ideation’ to describe the apparent suicidality associated with akathisia was misleading, as the ‘suicidal ideation’ reported in patients receiving fluoxetine was a reaction to the side-effect of akathisia (i.e., unbearable discomfort and restlessness) and not true suicidal ideation as is typically described by depressed patients experiencing suicidal ideation.”

Dr Joseph Glenmullen, author of “Prozac Backlash” and “The Antidepressant Solution,” obtained a Lilly document dated November 13, 1990, from Claude Bouchy, a Lilly employee in Germany, to three executives at Lilly’s Indianapolis headquarters, complaining about directions to change the identification of events as they are reported to doctors from “suicide attempt” to “overdose” and “suicidal ideation” to “depression”.

“I do not think I could explain to the BGA, to a judge, to a reporter or even to my family,” Mr Bouchy wrote, “why we would do this especially on the sensitive issue of suicide and suicide ideation.”

Dr Glenmullen says akathisia makes people profoundly agitated, uncomfortable in their own skin and impulsive. It erodes judgment and can lower their threshold to become violent toward themselves or others, he states.

Dr Martin Teicher, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital researcher at the time, co-authored a paper with psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist Jonathan Cole on the link between Prozac and suicide back in 1990, which found that 3.5% of patients on Prozac either attempted or committed suicide due to severe agitation from akathisia.

In the paper, the authors discussed 6 cases of patients who became intensely preoccupied with suicide after taking Prozac. Dr Cole said, in an affidavit submitted in litigation on April 20, 2000, “Our purpose in writing this article was to alert the profession to an alarming, probable drug side effect which we had observed.”

“There was a very clear association,” he said, “not merely temporal, between the ingestion of Prozac and the patients’ suicidality.”

“I have also seen patients and reviewed cases,” Dr Cole stated, “where an SSRI unmistakably precipitated a driven preoccupation with suicide.”

“The SSRI drugs, as a class,” he advised, “clearly have the potential to cause, and in reasonable medical probability or certainty do cause, akathisia in some patients.”

“Although in 1997,” Dr Cole notes, “practicing physicians undoubtedly varied in their level of sophistication and knowledge about the phenomenon, the potential to cause akathisia and its potential, in turn, to trigger suicidal behavior.”

Additional evidence showing Lilly knew about the akathisia-induced suicide surfaced in an application for a patent for a second-generation Prozac pill which claimed that the new-and-improved Prozac would decrease the side effects of, “inner restlessness (akathisia), suicidal thoughts and self-mutilation.”

Besides the concealment of this adverse effect by the drug companies, another major problem in getting the word out, according to Vince Boehm, who tracks all studies and research published on SSRI’s, is that the FDA refuses to fully acknowledge the role of drug-induced akathisia in what he refers to as “this hideous equation.”

“Akathisia is up to 6 times more likely to trigger a suicide,” he states, “than any form of depression caused by life’s circumstances alone.”

“The minds inner turmoil is so intense that a person will do anything to escape it,” he says.

“The Brits, the Aussies, Canada, and the European Union,” he points out, “have all gone on record recognizing this phenomenon for all age groups.”

Judging by internal FDA documents which have surfaced in litigation, Mr Boehm appears to be correct. For instance, in a September 11, 1990, memo, FDA scientist Dr David Graham found that Lilly’s data on Prozac was insufficient to prove the drug was safe, stating: “Because of apparent large-scale underreporting, the firm’s analysis cannot be considered as proving that fluoxetine and violent behavior are unrelated.”

A more recent study in the September 2006 journal Public Library of Science (PLoS) has further verified the warnings made by many other experts, when it reported that, in addition to self-harm, SSRI’s cause some patients to become violent and homicidal.

Dr David Healy, described as “one of the three most eminent academic clinical psychiatrists in the UK,” professor David Menkes, from Cardiff University in Britain, and Andrew Herxheimer, from the Cochrane Centre, did the study to determine the risk of violent behavior in people taking SSRI’s.

As part of their investigation, the researchers reviewed all available clinical data on SSRI’s and summarized a series of “medico-legal” court cases involving patients who had became violent on SSRI’s.

One case discussed dated back to 2001, when Dr Healy testified at a wrongful death trial in Wyoming, after a 60-year-old man on Paxil shot and killed his wife, daughter and infant granddaughter before turning the gun on himself in 1998.

At trial, the jury returned a verdict for the man’s son-in-law after Dr Healy presented the jury with a summary of an unpublished company study that found incidents of serious aggression in 80 patients on Paxil, including 25 that involved homicide, and proved that the drug maker knew about the violence and suicide risks before the 1998 shootings.

Dr Healy points out a rechallenge study by Rothschild and Locke in McLean Hospital where the authors found Prozac-induced emergent suicidality associated with akathisia in several patients. In order to test whether suicidality was coincidental or associated with Prozac, they withdrew Prozac, then re-administered it, and in all three cases, the patients experienced the exact same effect. “All three patients developed severe akathisia during treatment with fluoxetine and stated that the development of the akathisia made them feel suicidal and that it had precipitated their prior suicide attempts.”

However, even more alarming, one set of patients who became suicidal on Prozac were described as follows: “[n]one had a history of significant suicidal behavior; all described their distress as an intense and novel somatic-emotional state; all reported an urge to pace that paralleled the intensity of the distress; all experienced suicidal thoughts at the peak of their restless agitation; and all experienced a remission of their agitation, restlessness, pacing urge, and suicidality after the fluoxetine was discontinued.”

Reflecting On 2009 by Kim Crespi

Reflecting on 2009 ~ Onward to 2010~

I went looking for a jail/prison to include in my Christmas Village which was started for me by my mom’s death and the passing on of pieces.  What village wouldn’t be complete without magical lighted replicas of what has come to be our normal lives?  So, in my search, I wondered if I couldn’t find a jail/prison (not a huge market for these in the magical villages…) if perhaps a bank could be modified.  No such piece was found…what was found was a St. Joseph Chapel, with a lovely welcoming door and soft alluring lights within and, of course, a steeple with a simple cross to state the mission.  O.K.  I get it…it’s where we began and made our promises to God and to each other. A Chapel is friendlier than a prison in the lights of life, more pleasant to look at with meanings beyond the darkness and the hard, harsh realities of every day.  A new piece is added and the beauty of the village is enhanced…another year…more reality but for a moment the lights and the love strengthen us all…onward beyond the lighted village to the world. Oh yeah…I added a lighthouse too…it just seemed right.

One of the books I am reading is Dr. Peter Breggin’s newest book entitled “Wow, I’m an American!” in which Dr. Breggin (Harvard-trained psychiatrist and best-selling author and such a inspirational voice in our world) gives us a new approach to the lives of our Founders and the principles of freedom, responsibility, gratitude and love that they embraced. It is not a long or heavy book but still, I seem to be taking the longest time with it.  I don’t know a lot about America’s history, this book is helping me.  I feel like I’m savoring every word, committing it to memory and pondering.  It’s hard for me because I feel like the America I’m living in has been so harsh in punishing us for the responsible lives we were living the day of our tragedy.  David and I were doing everything most would think is humanly responsible regarding our overall healthcare and for that responsibility, we are being punished greatly and severely.  This is not the America I thought I lived in but is what we are experiencing.  I asked Dylan (our son) who is a very bright teenager and he loves history, how he could know so much about history and retain it all.  He looked at me with bewilderment and said that he could not imagine knowing so little about history. He does answer all my questions for which I am grateful. The future belongs to such as these if we can help them through the trauma and keep their hearts and minds focused on love and light in this life.

January 20, 2010, will mark the 4 year anniversary of a very horrific day for this family and many others.  The things we couldn’t understand on that day have become clearer in time.  What we suspected was that doctor-prescribed-psych drugs were the cause of psychotic behavior resulting in the killings of our most precious Tessara and Samantha.  What didn’t make sense was the lack of people pursuing the truth of why David would do something so out of character.  This lack of pursuit by our society continues to this day.  Still, much has come to light regarding the reasons why so few here in America would make a stand and why people, like David, remain wrongly imprisoned.  Our American Systems are designed to evaluate cause and not only the events.

A situation in Canada has been brought to our attention and we would like to share it will you.  A man named David Carmichael had a similar tragedy in 2004. In a psychotic state due to Paxil, he killed his 11-year old son.  He was arrested, stood trial and was found “Not criminally responsible” on account of a mental disorder diagnosed as “major depression” with “Psychotic episodes.”  He spent 5 years in the mental hospital and is now home with his wife and daughter rebuilding their lives.  He received an absolute discharge from even the mental health care system in December of this year.  His story and all the good he is currently involved in can be read at  He went to the mental home full of despair.  His trial did not focus on the medication reactions he had experienced.  The mental health professionals at the mental home were the agents that helped show David in his despair that his medication was responsible for the psychosis.  With this information, David was able to heal and devise a treatment program that helped him resume his life even with the sadness of the side effects that hurt his family so very much. Paxil (versus Prozac for us) was the SSRI that dealt the deadly blow to David Carmichael’s free will and responsible behavior.

The David Crespi situation took, from minute one, a very different path.  Not much apparent action was taken by the State of North Carolina to provide care for David in a mental home even with the support of family and friends and lack of understanding of what had happened.  Punishment, extreme punishment in the form of the death penalty, was sought from the beginning.  The Criminal justice system did not ask for testimony from David’s psychiatrist and he was allowed to leave town without a word to us.  David, in a completely drugged state, accepted a plea, encouraged by his lawyers, and was sentenced to 2 life sentences running back to back.  The Department of Correction web site notes that his second sentence begins 1/2/9999 that is after his first sentence ends in death.

So, this is where we are after 4 years of the saddest tragedy to rock our world.  David is in prison and so many, so content that this didn’t happen to them, have been able to go on with their lives.  Prison is not the appropriate place for a man “not criminally responsible” and who was previously under the spell binding power of psych drugs.  David is being punished every day of his life for doing what was considered responsible up until the moment the dangerous side effects took over.  He was working as an auditor for Wachovia with a considerable amount of stress with all the issues surrounding Wachovia at the time of the tragedy.  David went to the doctor due to a lack of being able to rest well.  As is the current common practice, medication was prescribed without any note or monitoring of side effects.  This medication led to more sleeplessness, then anxiety (a side effect of the sleeping medication) and then depression (another side effect of sleep aids and anxiety medication).  One thing led to another, mental health care professionals were consulted and involved, and after 7 days of Prozac, psychosis took over.  Free will was impaired and irrational, dangerous thinking resulted in the worst of horrors for all including and especially, David. What else could have we done to help ourselves?  Some would add that David could have been honest with deep dark thoughts but the media has built that up and into something it never was.  David was told in therapy that these thoughts were part of depression.  Darkness and light intermingle without clear distinction.

So David is guilty of being a responsible person and seeking help and for that responsibility and while we are experiencing the greatest losses, the State of North Carolina, specifically Mecklenburg County, was allowed to ask for his death.  More layers of tragedy and not one step closer to reconciliation or restoration.  And we, as his society, allowed this to happen.  I don’t understand this but every day live with the consequences.  When is the truth going to mean something right here in Mecklenburg?  When are people going to wake up to the fact that this could have happened to them and do something about it?

Lately, I have been reading a lot about justice…criminal, biblical, social and restorative.  All lead me to understand about how peace will not be restored without justice being pursued.  The time has long come for the wrongs to be made right.  Indifference abounds.  Many good people do nothing to help.  The world appears darker instead of lighter.  We didn’t pick this road but we are walking it.  We are doing the best we can with the energy given.  God is very real.  I am convinced even more every day that judgment truly is up to God and we may be living in prison but God will reveal the light of truth in the proper time for all.  I love the scripture found in Micah 6:8 of the Bible “You have been told, O Man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you:  Only to do the right (“to do justice” and “to act justly” in other translations) and love goodness (“mercy” and “kindness”), and to walk humbly with your God.”

So where are you as we reflect on 2009 and embrace 2010?  Do you see as God sees? Or are you holding on to what you want to believe about a man that many of you know couldn’t have possibly done the horrific act without some external catalyst?  Is Society really this indifferent and unreasonable?  What can we learn from Canada and David Carmichael and the reasonable outcome he and his family have experienced in spite of the horror of losing their son and the life they knew?

Every prison in North Carolina is different and David has been transferred to more than a few camps this year perhaps because he still speaks up for what is right.  The transfers are done without warning and without knowing where you are going.  Family members need to try to keep up once the move is made and then we look for a blessing…anything helps in trying to find the balance.  He started the year at Lanesboro close security Prison in Polkton.  He had been transferred there in the fall of 2008 when he was experiencing the mania from psych drug withdrawal. This transfer wasn’t to help him as some would like to think.  It was to create an imbalance for all of us just because the system has this power.  Then in June of 2009, David was transferred to Windsor (Bertie Prison) about 5 hours from our home towards the Outer Banks.  Bertie prison is very dangerous and it was not a good living situation but the path and a blessing usually get revealed.  Bertie offered our first visit as a family of 5 (other facilities only allow up to 3 visitors plus the prisoner).  They had vending machines where we could purchase junk food, coffee and sodas during the visit.  This was the only 2 hours in these 4 years that this family has been together and able to share a meal.  We are grateful for those 2 glorious hours and allowed them to carry us into the next visit at that facility which was for 1 hour for the 5 of us with David in protective segregation behind glass because a situation had caused a threat to David’s safety.  That was when the 4 of us took in the sights of the Outer Banks.  Saw a few lighthouses and the wild horses at Corolla.  Cape Hatteras is considered “America’s Lighthouse.”

Soon after that visit, David was transferred to Pasquotank (The Tank) Prison in Elizabeth City which was about 6 hours away.  Since this prison only allowed up to 3 visitors, the boys and I spent a day travelling, visited early one morning and then drove back that day.  It was a long 2 days but we maintain to keep this family together and in communion.  The blessings of the “Tank” included the granting of medium custody status and an opportunity to participate in Catholic services each week.  Catholic services are not provided at most of the other camps David has been housed at.  In October, David was then moved to a medium security facility in Polkton about an hour from our house.  At this facility, Brown Creek Prison, David is housed in a bunk house with 27 other guys. The security isn’t as tight as close security single cell units but he likes the opportunity to get outside a bit more.  Medium security is better in some ways and more dangerous in others.

Mentally, David is doing fine now that the medication has flushed out of his system. He is able to supplement his diet with only fish oil tablets.  He never needed psych medication. David does not have Bipolar Disorder as we were led, by the defense process, to suspect.  When I challenged the diagnosis, it became evident that those conclusions are made with very little objective evaluation. There is no medical test to prove disease.  The medication propelled the psychosis…not an underlying, undiagnosed, condition prior to the tragedy.   We now know that the medication, for us, produced the biggest problems we experienced in every episode of work anxiety experienced from 1994 on to the tragedy of 2006.  What started out each time as an inability to sleep well due to mental unrest, resulted in the most prevalent current treatment by medical doctors and mental healthcare professionals of prescribing and encouraging medication.  Please know that these medications can be very dangerous. They should be a highly monitored last resort and not the first response.  Just think about who is making money every time a prescription gets written and people begin the long process of adjusting to and being maintained on these psych drugs.  Is this the best way to deal with maintaining your overall health defined as being sound in body, mind and spirit?  We no longer buy into that “quick fix” of medication prescribed by many.

The kids are actually doing better than can be expected.  Jessica is 21 and is in her last year in College majoring in Educational Studies…loves it and is looking forward to graduating and working. She has a serious boyfriend that brings her joy.  Dylan at 17 is finishing up his high school requirements as a home schooled student.  He is enjoying the freedom and healing from trauma issues that home schooling offers but is looking forward to college in the fall.  13 year old Joshua is recovering from having his tonsils/adenoids removed this year right before Halloween.  He wasn’t able to breathe well and the removal of those huge adenoids has helped.  He is really enjoying his 8th grade year in Middle School and seems to have adjusted with great depth to our new life.

Jessica  and I have been working on our overall health with a naturopathic physician.  Some tests were done and it was determined that she and I are gluten intolerant.  Taking Wheat, Rye and Barley out of our diets has been a huge adjustment but with very helpful results.  Jessica, especially, feels so much better.  This is a huge consideration where the conventional doctors choose to recommend the pysch drugs with all the side effects before considering a dietary change.  Again, following the money…who benefits when we change our diet…only us…the consumer…food for thought.

We know that God has a plan for our lives and are all abundantly aware that we are experiencing some of the harsh realities of life on earth.  Heaven is very real and our heavenly lights, Samantha and Tessara, are never far away.  We acquired a new puppy this year and just received the DNA results that show Bailey as a Siberian Husky mixed breed.  She has white fur and brown eyes.  She came to us via a drop off at Belmont Abbey.  She is much loved by all but especially Hunter the Beagle and Dude the long haired cat.

The kids and I visited California during the summer managing to visit all the grandparents and spending a few days in Disneyland.  I drove a rented Ford Flex about 1500 miles from Northern to Southern and then back up to Northern California.  We do love California with all its sights and attractions.  Our roots run deep there and we took some magical moments back to North Carolina.

One of my missions is to help abolish the death penalty. Some of my favorite organizations are:

PFADP – People of Faith Against the Death Penalty – love their mission and work in North Carolina.

MVFHR – Murder Victims Families for Human Rights – worked on a report with them to present stories including ours of when mental illness crosses with the death penalty.  This report was published in 2009 and is called “Double Tragedies.”

MVFR – Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation – participated in a healing retreat weekend with other victims. It was amazing to be with others who have chosen not to ask for death even with the pain. (not an official organization but has evolved into a cause) will be working on continuing to bring truth to light regarding the side effects of psych drugs and who truly should step forward and be responsible.  And, we will continue to work for a better situation for all those who are wrongly imprisoned without truth and adequate care for the tragedies and trauma suffered.  I was able to again this year attend the annual conference held in New York of Dr. Breggin’s organization, the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology (ICSPP).  What a great, refreshing time of interaction with honorable people who understand the self serving interests of the drug companies, FDA and the Media and the resulting impact on unsuspecting doctors (they aren’t all unsuspecting) and patients.

I encourage you to read Dr. Breggin’s 2008 publication “Medication Madness” as it conveys the truth of what we have experienced.  Thank you for your prayers but action is needed as well.  I will try to post helpful information and possible actions on the web site.  I am attending a one day social media conference in January and hope to be up on Facebook and LinkedIn soon.  I will post links on

So that is where we are as we begin 2010.  We see God in the most amazing places.  I feel God in the honor of praying and corresponding specifically with several prisoners.  The world has changed for me.  Earth is harder and harsher than I ever knew before but heaven is real as well.  I have not needed to work outside of the home or beyond the cause, yet. I trust that God will continue to reveal the path each day that takes us from fear to love.  With great hope and solidarity for the imprisoned,

Praying for strength for all of us for the journey ahead in 2010…

Kim and David Crespi, Jessica, Dylan, Joshua and remembering always…Tessara and Samantha
P.O. Box 77844, Charlotte, NC  28271

David Crespi #0938007, Brown Creek Prison, P.O. Box 310, Polkton, NC  28135

Sample Letter to Senator Grassley on the No. 13 Bill

(Also you should consider faxing the office directly at: 202-224-6020 to avoid delay or possible failure to deliver your letter.)

Senator Charles Grassley
c/o Angela Choy
Senate Finance Committee
219 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.
Washington D.C. 20510-l501

Dear Senator Grassley:

Dan Markingson, a friend and the son of Mary Weiss, died while in a clinical study through the University of Minnesota.  He was on a stay of civil commitment and coerced into entering the CAFÉ Study by Dr. Stephen C. Olson as evidenced by the information Mary sent you with her letter of April 7, 2008.

Mary has asked you to initiate legislation to prohibit anyone under civil commitment, whether active or stayed, from entering a psychiatric clinical study.  A civil commitment, whether active or stayed, is an indication that the individual has been court-ordered to obtain treatment for mental illness.   A clinical study does not constitute treatment. Furthermore, treatment must always begin with looking for any underlying physical causes for the mental illness.

This letter is to show my support for Mary Weiss, and to ask you to help protect the most vulnerable among us.  Please pass legislation prohibiting anyone under a civil commitment from entering a psychiatric clinical study; instead mandate that they receive good and proper treatment to enable them to again take their place in society. 

A society is judged by how they treat their most vulnerable citizens. I know you to be an outspoken voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.  Please pass this most important bill.


Letter from Mary Weiss to Charles Grassley

‘Examiner’s Statement’ by Dr. Olson stating Dan lacks capacity; that he does not believe he has a mental illness, and ‘Neuroleptic Medication’ form that states one lacks capacity to give informed consent if they do not believe they have a mental illness.

April 7, 2008

Senator Charles Grassley
135 Hart Senate Bldg.
Washington D.C. 20510-1501

Dear Senator Grassley:

Two Special Agents from the FDA suggested I contact you.  I cannot name them as they are prohibited from advocating for any bill.  However, I am hoping that after reading my story, you will be interested in helping.

My son, Dan Markingson, died May 8, 2004 while in a psychiatric clinical study that I had tried for five months to get him out of.  (I believe you may even have talked to my attorney, Gale Pearson, recently.)  Dan was given a stay of civil commitment provided he follow the direction of his ‘treatment team’.  His treatment team, led by Dr. Stephen C. Olson, against whom I have just settled my civil lawsuit, coerced Dan into his lucrative clinical study under threat of going to Anoka Regional Treatment Center for six months.  While in the study Dan continued to deteriorate, and despite my asking them if Dan “had to kill himself or someone else before anyone does anything”, (which they recorded in their file) the answer was yes.

Since his death I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to get the enclosed bill passed in Minnesota which would prohibit anyone on a stay of civil commitment from entering into a psychiatric clinical study, but instead require them to get ‘treatment’ as the court had obviously intended.

Please read the bill.  It is very simple.  As Arthur Caplan, Bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania has noted, ‘animals often get better protection in studies than do humans’.

I have the depositions of the doctors involved and the affidavits of the expert witnesses which I could e-mail to you.  I am also enclosing in addition to the Bill other pertinent information relative to my son’s death in the CAFÉ Study:

  • Dan Markingson – Wrongful Death – Overview
  • Dan Markingson – Timeline
  • Notes from Regions Hospital suggesting bipolar disorder and Dr. Olson’s same thoughts
  • Court Commitment directing Dan to following orders of his doctor
  • Discharge Plan from hospital directing him to attend CAFÉ Study (or go to state hospital)
  • “Examiner’s Statement” by Dr. Olson stating Dan lacks capacity; that he does not believe he has a mental illness, and ‘Neuroleptic Medication’ form that states one lacks capacity to give informed consent if they do not believe they have a mental illness. 
  • Consent form
  • Errors and Omissions sheet regarding consent form
  • Protocol page: drug should start with one capsule “to minimize risk of adverse effects”
  • Drug Accountability Log: this was not followed.  Dr. Olson never even signed this Log
  • CCM Contacts Report of D. Pettit, case manager: Re: Dan going back in hospital 12/9/03
  • Page of study coordinator’s file: my asking “do we have to wait for him to kill himself…?”
  • Early Warning Signs Questionnaire, regarding ‘his recent relapse’…?
  • Progress Notes from L. Bennati, day therapist, showing (4/3/04) Dan’s deterioration
  • Letter of 7/5/04 from Olson to Jo Zillhardt stating Pettit approved Dan entering study before he entered it on 11/21/03.
  • Letter of 1/4/05 from Mary Jones, Dakota County: Pettit appointed Dan’s case manager 11/24/03, 3 days after Dan entered the study.
  • Computer printout showing payments to Olson & Schulz by pharma (2007 not shown)
  • Letter 10/25/04 from Dr. Olson stating no adverse events in clinical studies at University of MN and page from his deposition acknowledging signature, stating, when asked if he was denying writing it or saying he didn’t remember, that he didn’t remember writing it, rather than denying writing it.  No adverse events? Totally impossible!
  • Three letters from me to Dr. Schulz; no answer till third letter ten days before Dan died.  Note in my third letter I again talked about the rage in Dan (akathisia, as I later learned, which is caused by the drug) and Schulz in paragraph 3 states, “You did indicate that you have told Jeannie Kenney that your son has a rage within him.  It was not clear to me how you thought the treatment team should deal with this issue.”  Who is the doctor here?  But yes, I did say I thought he should be on an anti-anxiety medication.  After being on Ativan, an anti-anxiety medication, the first night in the hospital, the next day he seemed like his old self.  Dr. Olson even wrote in the hospital file he would lean toward bipolar because of Dan’s fast reaction to Ativan.

In same letter Dr. Schulz stated “Dan has not asked to be out (of the study).” Declaration of Helsinki, item 15 states the welfare of enrollee rests on medically qualified person and never on subject himself.  Dan was too sick to ask to be out, and dead ten days later.  Ethics codes do not apply to Dr. Schulz?

Senator Grassley, I am interested in getting this information out and the Bill passed so we can prevent this from happening again to other families.  I appreciate the work you do for the humane treatment of the mentally ill!  Let’s give them a chance to return to society!

Mary Weiss

No. 13 Bill To Prevent Experimentation As Condition of Stayed Commitment Orders

A bill for an act 


Relating to individuals with mental illnesses who are under a release before civil commitment amending Minnesota statute 253B.095, Release before commitment, by adding a subdivision.



            Subdivision 1. {Court Release.}


(a) After the hearing and before a commitment order has been issued, the court may release a proposed patient to the custody of an individual or agency upon conditions that guarantee the care and treatment of the patient.


(b)  A person against whom a criminal proceeding is pending may not be released.


(c)   A continuance for dismissal, with or without findings, may be granted for up to 90 days.


(d)  When the court stays an order for commitment for more than 14 days beyond the date of the initially scheduled hearing, the court shall issue an order that must include:


(1)  a written plan for services to which the proposed patient has agreed;


(2)  a finding that the proposed treatment is available and accessible to the patient and that public or private financial resources are available to pay for the proposed treatment.


            (a)   “a patient under a release before civil commitment, or on a stayed 

                commitment, shall be prohibited from entering into a psychiatric clinical trial.”


(3)  Conditions the patient must meet to avoid revocation of the stayed commitment order and imposition of the commitment.


(e)   A person receiving treatment under this section has all rights under this chapter.

A Letter From Mary Weiss, mother of “No. 13” in U. of Minnesota Schizophrenia Study

Hello Amy, 

My son Dan died as a result of akathisia caused by Seroquel.  Possibly you have read the account of his death under, ‘Death of No. 13’.  
That these drugs cause violence and suicide is a fact and this information is available everywhere on the internet.  You mention  That is only one place.  You probably know of the many more.
Amy, there is an answer and a way to heal those with mental problems other than neuroleptics, and that answer is Soteria.  I don’t know if you know of Dr. Loren Mosher and the Soteria Project in which those with serious mental illnesses got well without the debilitating effects of the neuroleptic drugs – but rather through compassion and caring.  Unfortunately, Dr. Mosher died a few years ago, but a Soteria House is opening in Anchorage, Alaska this year.  We, however, need Soteria residences in every state.  Google Loren Mosher’s letter of resignation to the APA (American Psychiatric Association.)  Also Google Lars Martensson, a Swedish physician who wrote a wonderful essay, ‘Should Neuroleptic Drugs Be Banned?’
I am asking everyone if they would write to Senator Charles Grassley and ask him to request funds form congress to build Soteria Houses, and also to prohibit anyone on a stay of civil commitment (as Dan was) from entering a psychiatric clinical study.   Please write to him in care of Angela Choy at 217 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C.  I have exchanged many e-mails with Angela, and she has called me and told me Senator Grassley is immensely interested in mental health issues and to keep information coming.  (I have sent her the book ‘Soteria’ and ‘Mad in America‘ by Robert Whitaker.)  The answer to mental illness is not drugs, but kindness, compassion and caring.  People can get well, as my son Dan certainly would have.  
We have power – and we can make a difference.  One person can make a difference – YOU!


I have attached a letter I wrote to Senator Grassley in April, a copy of the bill I am asking him to present (it refers to Minnesota only because I tried to get it heard hear first until two FDA Agents suggested I contact Grassley) and a copy of a sample support letter.  100 friends and relatives have sent letters of support to Senator Grassley.  Will you please do so also?  

We can be heard!

Mary Weiss